Choosing the best am3+ motherboard can sometimes be a tedious process, especially if you need a gaming motherboard. These motherboards have certain key features that are superior to other basic models and are far more expensive.
However, you don’t have to worry because our motherboard review will put an end to all your doubts and help you choose the most optimal solution for your computer. Keep reading this complete guide to discover the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Comparison Table of the Best am3+ Motherboards
No review will be complete without a proper comparison table showing some of the most important specifications of each great motherboard. This table will feature four motherboards. They can be used alongside some of the best graphics cards on the market, creating a powerful computer capable of dealing with the latest in the gaming world. So without further ado, let us take a closer look at the following table showing the most important motherboard specifications:
|Key specification / Motherboard||ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard||ASUS M5A78L-M Plus/USB3 DDR3 HDMI DVI USB 3.0 760G AM3+ based Motherboard||ASRock 760GM-HDV Socket AM3+/AM3/ AMD 760G/ DDR3/ SATA2&USB2.0/ A&V&GbE/MicroATX Motherboard||ASRock Motherboard ATX DDR3 1600 AMD AM3+ Motherboard 970 PRO3 R2.0|
|Graphics||Not Included, Up to 4 slots for Graphics Upgrade||Up to 4 slots for Graphics Upgrade||Up to 4 slots for Graphics Upgrade||Up to 4 slots for Graphics Upgrade|
|CPU Compatibility||AMD Athlon™ II, AMD Phenom™ II, AMD FX||AMD AM4 Socket 3rd and 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen/3rd, 2nd and 1st Gen AMD Ryzen with Radeon Graphics Processors||LGA1151, Supports 9th/ 8th Generation Intel Core Processors, CPU up to 95W||Socket AM3+/AM3|
|Memory support||AM3+ socket motherboards support DDR3||AM3+ socket motherboards support DDR3||4x DDR4-2666/ 2400/ 2133 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, Non-ECC, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of 64GB||4x DDR3-2100+(OC)/ 1866(OC)/ 1800(OC)/ 1600(OC)/ 1333/ 1066/ 800 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, Non-ECC, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of 64GB|
|PCI Express||PCI Express® 2.0||1x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slot, 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slot, 1x PCI Slot||1 x PCIe 2.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 2.0 x1||2x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slots (one runs at x4), 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slot, 2x PCI Slots|
|USB compatibility||Up to 14 USB 2.0||2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.2 Gen 1, no USB 3.2 Gen 2||2x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slots (single at x16; dual at x16/ x4), 1x PCI Express 3.0 x1 Slot (Flexible PCIe)||4x USB 3.0 Ports (2 rear, 2 via header), 12x USB 2.0 Ports (6 rear, 6 via headers), 1x PS/2 Mouse Port, 1x PS/2 Keyboard Port, 1x RJ45 LAN Port, Audio I/O Jacks|
|SATA||Supports SATA 6GB/s devices||4x SATA2 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 10, JBOD||4 x SATA2||6x SATA3 Ports|
|Chipset type||AMD 990FX||AMD 760G / SB710||AMD 760G||AMD 970|
|CPU socket||AM3+||AMD3+||Socket AM3+||Socket AM3+ / AM3|
|RAM memory technology||DDR3||DDR3||DDR3||4x DDR3|
Although we can add other criteria to this list, such as the form factor and the socket type, we have tried to keep the information short and precise. However, this does not mean our comparison is over, and we will no longer discuss each motherboard in more detail, as well as the Gigabyte GA and ASUS TUF.
In addition, we will provide more information about each motherboard individually and, finally, provide a final verdict on the overall rating. You can use the provided information to make your decision and choose the best motherboard on the market. All the criteria are essential, so make sure not to miss any of the details we include. Let us begin with the first motherboard from the table above.
Best am3+ Motherboards
In this section, we’ll be discussing the best am3+ motherboards you will be able to find in the market.
– ASUS Crosshair V Formula
Our review will begin with two bullet lists. First, we will provide some of the best pros of this motherboard. In the second list, we will list some of the worst cons. Keep reading to learn more.
- Numerous SATA 6GB/s devices and USB 3.0 ports
- Smart layout and top-notch audio
- Bulldozer Core AMD supports
- Supports AM3+ and older AM3 processors
- 3-way crossfire and 3-way SLI
After learning something about the pros, it is time to pay attention to the cons.
- It does not have Bluetooth support
- Lacks ROG Connect support found on other boards
- Showed issues with high HT clocking
- The card’s audio output is stereo only
Several specifications are extremely important and make the difference between a decent and a perfect motherboard. Those specifications are the processor, memory (RAM), SATA ports, and expansion slots. Although it was partially explained in the previous table, the ASUS V Crosshair Formula motherboard supports nearly all Athlon CPU series, AMD FX processors, Phenom CPUs, and several Sempron series, which is enough for a stunning 9.4 score.
In addition, this motherboard supports AM3+ socket motherboard DDR3 memory types, which is more than enough to provide proper gaming, streaming, and editing experience, so we give this a 9.3 score. As far as compatibility with SATA slots, this motherboard supports SATA 6GB/s devices and has no problem properly rendering the information, and we will rate it with a score of 9.1, so if you are looking for great performance specifications, you will find everything here.
However, what about the expansion slots? Well, the ASUS V Crosshair Formula motherboard offers one USB 2.0 internal slot, a single USB 2.0 rear slot, and one USB 3.0 internal slot. On the flip side, it can have up to 14 USB 2.0 slots, as explained in the table above. In other words, you will have more than enough expansion slots to satisfy the needs of the fussiest of customers, so we give a 9.7 score.
This motherboard is featured in this article for a specific reason. Namely, it checks all the specifications criteria boxes, which is extremely important for a fantastic experience. All things considered, this motherboard will receive a final stunning 9.5 out of 10 ratings, making it one of the better motherboards on the market for the same price. So without further ado, if you can get your hands on one, make sure to get it.
Overview: The ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard has many SATA slots and USB 3.0 ports. It is the perfect choice for gamers who need tons of expansion slots for various devices.
– ASUS M5A78L-M Plus
As in the previous section, we will begin the ASUS M5A78L-M Plus review with a list of all the pros and cons. This is the best way to understand the most important features. Let us not waste any time and begin with the pros.
- It has 50 less radiation
- AM3+ CPU support ready
- Anti-surge full-time power guardian
- Numerous SATA 6GB/s devices and USB 3.0 ports
Some of the pros in this list overlap with the pros of the previous motherboard. Nevertheless, let us discuss the cons in the following bullet list.
- Average performance
- Not the best money for value
- It might struggle with complex operations
Now that you understand a lot more about the pros and cons, it is time to work on a more thorough review. Again, we will use the same criteria from the previous section: the processor, memory, SATA ports, and expansion slots. Compatibility-wise, this motherboard has nearly identical processor support as the previous one, and it will receive the same rating of 9.4, so that is one of the boxes already checked.
In addition, the ASUS M5A78L-M Plus has the same memory support as the ASUS V Crosshair Formula. This is an additional indicator that captures the power and ability of this motherboard, thus, we give a score of 9. However, this board lacks USB compatibility because it has the following options: 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.2 Gen 1, and no USB 3.2 Gen 2. As you can see, there are no USB 3.2 gen 2 supports, meaning we give a rating of 7.5.
Finally, there are more SATA slots. Though the previous table captured this perfectly, it is time to remember the details. This motherboard has the following SATA slots: 4x SATA2 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 10, and JBOD, enough for a rating of 8.9. This is more than enough for basic support and will go a long way once you create your gaming computer.
With that being said, if you are looking for a decent motherboard capable of delivering the expected, this is the motherboard for you. The final verdict for this motherboard is a rating of 8.9, which is lower than the previous model. Nevertheless, you will receive great money for value and consistent performance. Now, let us move on to the next motherboard.
Overview: The ASUS M5A78L-M Plus has an amazing anti-surge full-time power guardian, so if you are concerned about power consumption, this is the perfect motherboard for you.
– ASRock 760Gm-HDV Socket
After thoroughly covering the previous two motherboards, it is time to review the ASRock 760GM-HDV Socket AM3+/AM3/ AMD 760G/ DDR3/ SATA2&USB2.0/ A&V&GbE/MicroATX 1 Motherboard. But first, we will lay down the pros and cons and explain some of the peculiar details.
- The AMD 760G chipset offers great performance
- It is a powerful motherboard overall
- It uses pristine technology to run it
- It comes with a 7.1 CH HD audio (Realtek ALC887 Audio Codec) and ELNA audio capacitor
As previously stated, we can add other items to the list. However, we captured the most important points. Now, let us cover the cons or the specs that this motherboard is missing.
- It is not easy to come across this motherboard
- It has not taken the market by storm and hasn’t caught on yet
- Only traditional retailers may have it available
As you can see, one of the few drawbacks of the ASRock 760GM-HDV Socket AM3+/AM3/ AMD 760G/ DDR3/ SATA2&USB2.0/ A&V&GbE/Micro ATX 1 Motherboard is the lack of available units on the market. It is extremely difficult to find one, which is why we stated that it has not taken the market by storm yet. The main problem is probably the number of manufactured units. However, what about its performance?
You are guaranteed to get the best out of this motherboard performance-wise, all thanks to its powerful AMD 760G chipset. This chipset is compatible with nearly all processor series, meaning you will not have any issues choosing the best option, which is why we rate it a 9.1 score. In addition, this motherboard offers great memory support with its 4x DDR4-2666/ 2400/ 2133 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, Non-ECC, Unbuffered, and Max Capacity of 64GB. As a result, you will get great gaming, streaming, and editing performance for a score of 9.4.
Finally, we need to review the expansion slots and SATA ports. Namely, this machine has 2x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slots (single at x16; dual at x16/ x4), 1x PCI Express 3.0 x1 Slot (Flexible PCIe), and 4 x SATA2 slots, making it perfectly compatible with most devices. Thus, we will provide a rating of 9.5 for the expansion slots and 9 for the SATA ports. Unfortunately, not many people have noticed the qualities of this motherboard yet.
So if you are looking for a hidden gem on the market, the ASRock 760GM-HDV Socket AM3+/AM3/ AMD 760G/ DDR3/ SATA2&USB2.0/ A&V&GbE/MicroATX Motherboard is the perfect solution for you because its checks all criteria boxes. Unfortunately, it may be challenging to come across this unit on the market, as it is not readily available. Nevertheless, if you get one, you will not make a mistake. Ultimately, our final verdict for this product is a 9.3 out of 10 rating, as we believe this is a must-have.
Overview: The ASRock 760GM-HDV Socket motherboard features the powerful AMD 760G chipset. It is an ideal choice for customers who wish to experience smooth gaming.
– ASRock Motherboard ATX DDR3 1600
Finally, the last motherboard we will review is the ASRock Motherboard ATX DDR3 1600 AMD AM3+ Motherboard 970 PRO3 R2.0. This compact motherboard may be the solution you are looking for. But first, let us look at some of the facts.
- It provides great overclocking values and output
- You can explore its maximum potential
- It will perform great even at heavy gaming
- It has more SATA ports than the other motherboards
As with every other unit in this article, we will also pay closer attention to the cons. Let us discover them in the following bullet list.
- You can only save 3 BIOS profiles
- Certain glitches may appear during overclocking
Despite offering amazing overclocking values and output, inevitable glitches usually appear during overclocking. Fortunately, these glitches are easy to fix and work out but may become annoying in the long run. In addition, the fact that lacks the most with this motherboard is that you can only save up to 3 BIOS profiles, which is a big deal for some. What about the key criteria and whether this motherboard checks all boxes?
Well, one thing is for sure. If we put aside the lack of BIOS profiles and certain glitches during overclocking, this motherboard offers great performance for its price. Its AMD 970 chipset type has proven to perform well time after time, and it is currently compatible with most processors on the market, which means it has a rating of 8.5. Its memory is something we give high scores too — 9 to be exact.
So this motherboard offers 4x DDR3-2100+(OC)/ 1866(OC)/ 1800(OC)/ 1600(OC)/ 1333/ 1066/ 800 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, Non-ECC, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of 64GB, which is all you need for a great gaming experience, thus the score of 9.3. In addition, it has 6 x SATA3 Ports, 4x USB 3.0 Ports (2 rear, 2 via header), 12x USB 2.0 Ports (6 rear, 6 via headers), 1x PS/2 Mouse Port, 1x PS/2 Keyboard Port, 1x RJ45 LAN Port, Audio I/O Jacks slots, which we will rate with a score of 9. So, again, this is all you need.
If certain glitches during overclocking and the lack of available BIOS profiles are not something that bothers you, this is the perfect motherboard for you. You will be pleasantly surprised by the repeatedly amazing performance. All being said, our final verdict is a 9 out of 10 rating. Now, let us summarize the most important points from this article.
Overview: The ASRock ATX DDR3 1600 AMD AM3+ motherboard provides great overclocking values. It is a great choice for gamers who spend hours playing the latest games.
Brief Overview and Final Recommendation
The number of available motherboards on the market is huge, and there is something for everyone. However, choosing the best one may sometimes be a huge problem, especially if you do not know what you are looking for. Fortunately, this review provided a closer insight into some of the best budget buys one can currently get on the market.
If you are willing to spend some extra cash and opt for the best one, we recommend the ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard, which offers all it takes for a proper gaming experience. On the flip side, we also recommend the other featured units in this guide because they will not let you down either.